Back in the mid-90s, Netscape was known to many as the leader in web browsing. Its Navigator product was key to bringing the World Wide Web to the masses and the company’s initial public offering is considered the beginning of the dot-com boom. However, the AOL-owned Netscape Navigator web browser long since has been eclipsed by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and even by its Firefox offshoot.
Although almost everyone considered Netscape dead already, AOL today officially announced that it is pulling the plug on the browser this February 1, saying it had little chance of ever regaining market share against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Netscape can be proud of its legacy, though. The Firefox browser that grew from it now has significant adoption at 16.01%, compared to IE’s 77.35% share of the web browser market.
The Netscape name will live in the form of the Netscape portal, which is now all that’s left of AOL’s 1998 $4 billion purchase of Netscape.